In our current day and age, it has become common practice for religious organizations to take a stance on political issues. This practice has led to church schisms, decreases in giving, and the alienation of parishioners who feel uncomfortable supporting these opinions.
I am part of a religious organization that has experienced the consequences of the practice of taking a stance on a political issue that is not supported by the entirety of the church.
In 2009 the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) passed the Social Statement of Sexuality that allows each church to call a pastor that is homosexual and in a committed relationship to lead their congregation.
Although this social statement is not exactly a stance on a political issue, it is a subject that is currently in heated disagreement between different factions in the country that are both very passionate about their stance. The passing of this social statement split the church and led to many Lutherans leaving the ELCA and either joining different denominations or forming their own denominations such as the LCMC and NALC. In the process, many families have been ripped apart by discord and some churches have been forced to close doors due to decreased giving and attendance. I believe the statement itself had good intentions and was definitely an accomplishment for those who have been discriminated in the past, the problem, though, was that it came too soon because many Christians are not accepting of homosexuality.
When discussing my faith, I often come back to what my father has taught me. For those of you who do not know, he is an ELCA pastor and my role model. He taught me that in the New Testament, Jesus does not refer to homosexuality once, but about divorce many times. Yet, the majority of Christianity accepts divorce because not doing so would alienate a significant number of people. Jesus says love thy neighbor as thyself and treat others as you want to be treated but yet we still judge those who are different than us and treat them as inferiors.
The time has come for Christians to accept homosexuality and welcome those who have came out as homosexuals as brothers and sisters in Christ because we are nothing more or less than that. Not doing so makes us all hypocrites because no one gives us the authority to judge one sin from another. We are all sheep in the flock who wander off and whose sin cannot be distinguished from another’s. Sin is sin regardless of the trespass and only through faith, the grace of God, and the Word made flesh can this sin be washed away and we can be brought back into the flock. No doing of our own can heal our broken souls, only the Grace of God. So, that being said, let us all come together not as heterosexuals or homosexuals, Caucasians or various other ethnic groups, Protestants or Catholics, or Democrats or Republicans, but as children of God.